Heffernan Consulting provides two levels of irrigation analyses. The simple efficiency test is designed to identify the pumping plant efficiency at a single operating point on the day of the test. This test satisfies the NRCS requirements for a pump test under their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). It compares the calculated efficiency to the Nebraska Standard and provides the irrigator with a useful calculation of how they stack up to that standard and what is required to achieve that standard if they are lacking.
A second level of analysis is a system review. This test covers the pumping plant efficiency mentioned above but also looks at the pressures and flow rates and friction loss in the system to identify areas of improvement. In addition, if there is potential for a VFD application, this is included in the analysis. Once completed, an irrigator will know what to expect for future cost savings if these improvements are implemented and then they can decide whether or not the improvements are cost effective after obtaining a bid from their vendor. Considering the capital investment required for a good irrigation system today, an analysis can be viewed as protection against installing unnecessary or inefficient equipment. Since HC doesn’t sell any equipment to the irrigation community, we are an unbiased source of information to the irrigator. This level of test is required to satisfy the NRCS EQIP Program.
Heffernan Consulting does not employ or condone any “drive by”, “desk-top” or “windshield” analyses to be part of our program. We want real time, usable data for irrigators to base their decisions on. Pumps must be operating to be tested and it is preferable that the irrigator be present during the test but not required. Heffernan Consulting uses ultrasonic flow meters to measure pipe thicknesses and flow rates and these are calibration tested. An Ashley 100 GPS Unit is employed to make field measurements and an Extech power meter is used to make the electrical power measurements – volts, amps and power factors.